The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. The Living Wage is calculated according to the basic cost of living using the ‘Minimum Income Standard’ for the UK. Decisions about what to include in this standard are set by the public; it is a social consensus about what people need to make ends meet.
The Right Reverend Séamus Cunningham, Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle, said “In seeking to embody Catholic Social Teaching within its own life and mission, the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle perceives the commitment to the Living Wage as upholding the Common Good and the dignity of work and to ensure that people have quality time to spend for themselves and with their family. This development is a response by the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle to Pope Francis’ call to be a ‘poor Church for the poor’ (Pope Francis, Audience with Journalists, 16 March 2013)”.
Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis. The Living Wage enjoys cross party support, with public backing from the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.
Living Wage Foundation Director, Katherine Chapman said: “We are delighted to welcome the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle to the Living Wage movement as an accredited employer. The Living Wage is a robust calculation that reflects the real cost of living, rewarding a hard day’s work with a fair day’s pay”.
“We have accredited over 2,500 leading employers, including Sage, Northumbrian Water and Durham Constabulary and a number of third sector organisations including Oxfam, Children North East and Save the Children who appreciate that their practices as an employer must reflect the core values of their institution".
Simon Mason of Tyne and Wear Citizens said "The leadership team of Tyne and Wear Citizens are delighted that the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle have been accredited as a Living Wage Employer. As members of Citizens UK we are keen to see a greater uptake of the Living Wage in the North-East and we hope that other employers, especially those in the voluntary sector, will be able to follow their example and ensure that employees receive a living wage that reflects the cost of living."